This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

An Analysis Of Natalie Zemon Davis' Interesting Book "The Return Of Martin Guerre".

2959 words - 12 pages

Although most, if not all, would assume the lives of peasants are insignificant in the greater scheme of things, the popular story of Martin Guerre unfolds via peasants making major, life-altering decisions based on self-interest. The individual lives of the peasants do make a difference. Natalie Zemon Davis tells the tale of peasants looking out for themselves in The Return of Martin Guerre, and rarely do they allow others to interfere with their own goals and ambitions. Davis attempts to fill in the gaps of the story with her own personal opinion; although, her opinion sometimes counters the contemporaries of the story. Many sources used by Davis are logically sound; however, many more sources raise questions of their own authenticity and sensibility. Davis also takes a deep look into the lives of the peasants to probe what drives them and what so eagerly fuels their individualistic desires. Davis details the life of the peasants in not only one specific place, but also details the customs of numerous places such as Hendaye, Artigat, and the court at Rieux in a contrast/compare style. Davis builds a world of stairs where those on the lowest rung are always looking somewhere higher up, yet they are always able to keep a taut rein on their lives. The characters of this tale are brought to a startling realism by Davis-she details every possible thought and action that could have led them down the path that they chose, and she even speculates on alternatives to the choice they made. She shows the life of the real Martin Guerre as full of regret and disgust at things gone wrong. His wife, Bertrande de Rols, is expressed as a manipulator that is always weighing her options and scheming to rise ahead. Subsequently, there is Arnaud du Tilh; without his appearance, no story would have likely taken place because it took a man of his shrewdness and his love of vice to create such a fantastical plot. A desire to attain one's own interests so eagerly is proven repeatedly by Davis as though she is obviously attempting to lead us in that direction by her outlook on this part of the past.Davis reveals herself to the reader via the way she fills in gaps and makes assumptions. One such example is the approach in which she speculates on events that happen in the story. Not once will she allow herself to see any kind of coincidence. It is not enough that Protestantism came to the towns surrounding Artigat, but she forces the reader to accept that Bertrande and Arnaud must have been touched by its message. She blatantly carries the idea that peasants are making decisions based on self-interest when she tells the reader the positive reasons for them converting to Protestantism. She believes they converted because it would have given them a better excuse to be married (consensual marriage) and would have allowed them to be free of confessing the sin of adultery to a priest. On the topic of religion, she also assumes that Protestants and their sympathizers would favor...

Find Another Essay On An analysis of Natalie Zemon Davis' interesting book "The Return of Martin Guerre".

The Wife of Martin Guerre Essay

844 words - 4 pages to a man who claims to be Martin Guerre, who is really an imposter. While socially and spiritually committed to her husband, she is physically committed and attached to the imposter. The imposter looks remarkably similar to Martin Guerre, but with a much sweeter, more kind disposition. (TEXT EVIDENCE HERE) The imposter is accused, by Bertrande, of not being the real Martin and thus once the real Martin Guerre comes back Bertrande leaves the man

The Wife of Martin Guerre Essay

1003 words - 4 pages Guerre household would have her live in sin, but her integrity in the end is too great and she pursues the truth, ending in her own destruction.The people of Artigues were extremely religious in their beliefs and it set a foundation for them to make moral decisions in their own lives. Bertrande was also extremely religious and this was the basis of her decision to accuse her husband as being an imposter. When Martin comes back after eight years

Text Response- The Wife of Martin Guerre

745 words - 3 pages turned against Bertrande claiming she only wanted power and money, so she was deliberately destroying Martin. "You are intricate', she cried. 'You have the subtlety of the Evil One himself." When the truth is finally reviled through the return of the real Martin, the fate of the house is left up to evil again. "The Return of the real Martin Guerre would in no measure compensate for the death of Arnaud."Will the real Martin stay? What will become of

Analysis of the Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart

1080 words - 5 pages wasn't smart enough to have my own opinions? I dont understand why he would say I can't hear either. So what they have too many secrets that I can't hear?” but the more Natalie thought on it the more she thought there HAD to be an explanation for cutting her off and changing her name, calling her Ms.Rose. She didn't understand any of it. When Jonathan had finally explained to her that there is a lot of people that he does not trust there. He does

Return of the pharaoh Book Review

902 words - 4 pages Muslim Ladies Group trained women for the same purpose and also participated in welfare and relief activities. The title of the book is extremely interesting; it reflects the utter contempt the author holds towards Nasir, and vice versa. Her hatred is so strong that she calls him a “Pharaoh”, an ancient king who declared he was God and persecuted people who believed otherwise. The title is not only attractive and intriguing, but also appropriate

An Analysis of “The Ways of Meeting Oppression”         Martin Luther

1893 words - 8 pages An Analysis of ?The Ways of Meeting Oppression? Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights movement brought about many different views on how one?s oppression should be handled in America. ?The Ways of Meeting Oppression,? by Martin Luther King Jr., is based on how people handle oppression. According to Dr. King there?s a whole spectrum that ranges from violence to non-violence action in which the views are placed. Martin Luther King Jr

An Analysis of The Book of Romans

826 words - 4 pages The book of Romans is a letter from Paul written to the people from the church at Rome. It teaches about righteousness from God, unrighteousness of all mankind, justification, and sanctification. Paul wrote this letter to inform us about sin and how to have true righteousness. The righteousness that comes from our faith through Jesus Christ. In Genesis 1 NIV God created all humans, creatures, heavens, and the earth. We know this because we

An Analysis of the Book Our Am

1249 words - 5 pages consecutively down one strip of Chicago's south side. These projects are like jail because once you grow up around them it is hard to get away or out of them. Some children in the book have never been anywhere else expect for school and then back to their homes.Attending school was not something to look forward to. The school's environment was not conducive to learning. The appearances of the schools were depressing. The building had small windows and

The Story of an Hour Book Analysis

1276 words - 5 pages In Kate Chopin’s unraveling story The Story of an Hour, shows Mr. Mallard’s marriage behind closed doors and in the public. Mrs. Mallard has just found out that her husband has passed away in an accident, and her sister fears that it’s something that she will not be able to handle with her failing heart. After she finds out she find out from her sister, Josephine, Mrs. Mallard weeps a little but behind closed doors she ponders the idea. She

Book review on Secrets Of The Temple, by Willian Greider. An interesting and hefty (700+ page)book on the inner workings of the Federal Reserve

888 words - 4 pages -coaster. The author shows how the Federal Reserve, though it hassome contact with Washington, makes it's own monetary policy. The titleof this book performs the analogy of the few templed priests in theirinner sanctum governing control over the masses.The author depicts the workings of the Federal Reserve Systemwith emphasis on the power of the Federal Reserve Reserve Chairman asbeing the second most important person in the United States

This essay is an analysis of the story the "Life in the Iron Mills" by Rebecca Harding Davis

1840 words - 7 pages In "Life in the Iron Mills" Rebecca Harding Davis reveals a growing industrial America in the nineteenth century, where an unbelievable level of poverty and limited opportunities of achieving success can cause individuals to take extreme risks to attain a descent lifestyle. Through the novella, Davis illustrates the distinct differences between upper and lower class lifestyles. Immigrant workers, Debora (lovingly called Deb) and Hugh, take the

Similar Essays

Medievil Society In Relationship To The Name Of The Rose By Umberto Eco And The Return Of Martin Guerre By Natalie Zemon Davis. A Comparisson Of The Two Books And How They Relate To Medievil History

2046 words - 8 pages , did Bertrande know that Arnaud was not Martin? If so, why did she treat him as if he was her real husband? This I believe the author did on purpose. Natalie Zemon Davis seems to prefer a level of ambiguity in her writings.In comparison of the two books, Name of the Rose has more errors in it then the Return of Martin Guerre. This can be expected considering the former is fictional where as the latter is nonfiction. Even though Name of the Rose

Peasant Lifestyle In Davis´ The Return Of Martin Guerre

1854 words - 7 pages marriage procedures and customs. Lastly, Davis talks about some of the laws and common uses of the judicial system by peasants. By incorporating these factors into her book Davis is successful at recreating life for peasants in France during the sixteenth century. Works Cited Davis, Natalie Zemon. The return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.

The Return Of Martin Guerre Essay

620 words - 2 pages this one.The film The Return of Martin Guerre was an excellent example of how life was in the sixteenth century. It showed the importance and significance of religion and family through the eyes of the peasants. This movie kept my attention the entire time it was on, and for this reason I am very impressed!

Book Review Of "The Return Of Martin Guerre"

1169 words - 5 pages his new family. No matter his true motive the place and times conspired against him, and he ended no better than the man whose identity he sought to steal. Davis, Natalie. The Return of Martin Guerre. Boston: Harvard Press. 1983. P. 37